The Crosswinds Hunter/Jumper training program is led by sisters Taylor Knapp and Clare Knapp-Englehart, who developed their expertise from the ground up and hands-on at the family farm from childhood. Training with renowned professionals, competing across the Hunter, Jumper and Equitation divisions, and bringing their own horses along over the years, Taylor and Clare honed their skills as riders, trainers and instructors. Today, they offer thoughtful, disciplined and practical training programs customized to help riders of all ages and levels achieve their goals in and out of the show ring.
Taylor got her first pony, the aptly named Tempest in a Teacup, when she was just five years old. By 10, she was competing in both the Hunter and Jumper rings, and catch-riding ponies for others who saw her winning there.
Throughout her Junior years, Taylor competed heavily in the Hunters and Equitation while balancing school work and training as a first chair bass cellist. A clever bay draft-cross jumper named Iris step-changed Taylor's riding game at age 16. The pair won nearly every Children's Jumper class they entered across the "A" circuit, culminating in a trip to the National Finals. Then they worked their way up to the 1.2 meter jumpers, reguarly giving seasoned profesionals a run for their money.
Training with Iris, Taylor knew that her future lay in a full-time career with horses. After a year catch-riding for a roster of respected professionals, Taylor herself turned professional in 2007. At the same time, she earned a degree in Finance from Marist College at night and online, so as not to interfere with her commitment to training horses and riders.
For the past 10 years, Taylor has trained and competed her own and her clients' horses at the upper levels in both Hunters and Jumpers at horse shows up and down the East Coast. Taylor is passionate about training and mentoring her students to their highest potential. As a result, her students have found success at every level, from Short Stirrup to Adult Medal and USEF Pony Finals. Taylor believes that success in riding comes from a thorough understanding of classical riding theory, a well suited equine partner, and a dedication to the craft.
Taylor lives on-site at Crosswinds and takes pride in managing the ins-and-outs of the horses and facility. When she's not at the barn, Taylor can often be found training at the gym, cooking or spending time with her beloved rescue Corgi, Ozzie.
Clare has been riding and showing for over 25 years. As a Junior, she competed in the Equitation, Hunters and Jumpers, winning throughout the tristate area.
After graduating from Marist College with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing, Clare pursued her passion for teaching both in and out of the ring -- as a Humanities teacher at a private upper school, while continuing to ride, train and teach at Crosswinds.
In 2007, Clare directed her focus full-time to the horse industry, adding Head Coach of the Marist College Equestrian Team to her resume. During Clare's tenure, the Marist program has seen substantial growth and boasts multiple individual and team championships over the past several seasons. Her passion and commitment to coaching is evident; fittingly, Clare was recently appointed Regional President of IHSA Zone 3 - Region 3.
In 2015, Clare helped found the Empire State Equestrian IEA Team. In the teams's first two IEA seasons, Clare was proud to coach Regional and Zone Champions, and have ESET riders at National Finals in Kentucky and Virginia.
Clare enjoys teaching aspiring riders of all ages and levels. With her leadership, Crosswinds' clients can be found earning tricolors in Hunter, Jumper and Equitation divisions at both local competitions and ‘A’ shows up and down the East coast, including HITS, Kentucky, Saratoga, and the Vermont Summer Festival.
Clare is an active member of the PHA, and recently began judging. She resides at Crosswinds with her husband and two young pony-loving daughters.